|Battle for the Ears - Mog Is the Latest Music Streaming Service to offer a |
free ad supported version of it's Music Software.
It appears that streaming service Mog has thrown it's hat into the ring of ad supported streaming services like Spotify. Today they announced a free version of their site via press release :
I have actually been a member of Mog over 4 years (and regularly use the service). I have watched as the site has evolved (although some in the community might argue it de-volved) from a vibrant, community and music blog based web stop that was akin to Facebook, into a sleek (yet soulless) streaming service. What once was a bustling hub of user generated content, became a ghost town of abandoned user pages and posts as the company shed it's die hard users and loudest promoters and restructured to meet the needs of the new wired music customer/consumer.
Berkeley, CA – September 14, 2011 – MOG®, today announced a free, ad-supported version of its award-winning on-demand music service, which will go live on MOG.com as of 9:00am EST 6:00am PDT on Thursday, September 15. Music lovers can access MOG’s entire catalog of over 11 million songs, nearly everything you’d find in popular music download stores, for free, making it the easiest way to enjoy instant access to music with no installable client application and no credit card needed. The free version will be ad-free for the first 60 days so fans can get a taste of the service without any distractions.
Free listeners on MOG receive a virtual “gas tank” full of music visibly integrated into the service. The refillable tank, called FreePlay, is built upon sophisticated game mechanics that enable users to earn free music in perpetuity, simply by listening, sharing with friends and exploring MOG. The FreePlay tank showcases how much free music a user has along with “earn music” and “upgrade” links that provide listeners the opportunity to earn more music, or upgrade to MOG Primo, a subscription plan that includes unlimited, ad-free music, and access to MOG via mobile devices, consumer electronic and streaming entertainment devices, and soon, the car.
I am wistful for the days of getting the daily notifications, and reading daily posts from my 80 or so "favorite" Moggers. We often would start posting frenzy's for a chance at the "Mogger of the Week", in which you might receive the coveted Mog T-shirt (and even more coveted eyeballs reading your daily musings about music). It was a friendly competition in which we all enjoyed taking part - honing our writing to areas of interests, yearning for the discussions that your post might generate in the comments. But it was not meant to last. VC money came on board and big names like Rick Rubin were thrown around by site founder, David Hyman (who you could once have a dialog with through his Mog account -as he was a frequent blogger himself - whose last post was over a year ago.). Soon enough, the community began to disintegrate as Mog dropped it's allegiance to, and support for it's community, and retooled itself as a service, rather than a destination.
I understand how hard it is to run profitable website, much less find a specific niche on the web, where there's a million inferior sites that are similar to the great ones. Web version 3.0/HTML 5 looks to change the way we look at what a website is - everything will be an app as we cross the threshold from websites resembling the printed page to being an even more multimedia embedded experience that exists somewhere between traditional printed magazines and a more personalized television network.
Certainly anyone in marketing could tell you that a product you make can't do everything, nor can it be everything to everyone. Mog's streaming service is top notch - offering 320 Kbps downloads to your phone (the best sound quality, to my knowledge, of any of the streaming services). Their catalog is huge, rarely am I unable to find an album I'm looking for. I even feel like a magician sometimes when my kids request something like Spongebob, and I can pull it up in a few seconds. It has drastically altered how I download music to my phone - often choosing the Mog Client app for my iPhone over iTunes.
Yet if one is to visit Mog now, it is a shell of it's former glory as a website. Though, you can find it if you know how, there are no obvious links to the community that gave Mog that step up to what it now is. Absent are the people like myself, and about 120 other Moggers (we now prefer the term Mog Orphans or Morphans) who made the site what it was - a rich tapestry of different musical tastes and opinions, a dedicated community who were essential to filling the site with content or "filling the gaps" about bands/artists who had no info to accompany their profiles, obsessives who checked our posts many times daily to see how many comments had gotten on our latest topic.
To some of us music has always been a viral form of expression - even before the internet coined the term as to what we think of as "viral". It wasn't your job, rather it was your duty to expose people to the sounds that touched your soul. The amount of time we spent digging through bins at record stores, the percentages of paychecks dedicated to finding the next sound was testament to our love. Many of us have reconnected (like most of the world) on Facebook, and it offers the most readily available outlet for us now, but by no means an end to our means. We still crave the community and commonplace we find within a community (digital or otherwise). Mog, at one point, actually felt like it was built for us.
We know that music is what is most important when we gather (there have been a number of Mogger meetups across the country, and our own "mogbassador" Lizziegreeneyes, probably holds the record for meeting the most Moggers in person), everything else is secondary. We can deviate on almost everything politically, morally, socially and religiously - but music is our common thread, and none of that other stuff seems as important once we start rapping about tunes. We live in a world where everything is out there, digital crate digging isn't quite the same high we once got, but the thrill of discovery still remains and there are those of us who still need each other to help us find that certain something that we need.